Ask The Weekly with Colleen Loranger

Sometimes I get tired of being around Macalester, the same people, and really want break to happen. How can I better manage this need to escape while still appreciating Macalester?

Last week I was walking through the Mill District in Minneapolis and, because it was Wednesday, the tornado siren was wailing. The skeleton of the new Viking stadium was to my right (stadiums are so dystopian aren’t they?) and in that moment all I wanted was to be back in the comforting blocks of Snelling and Grand Avenue.

Often when I am desperate to leave, I am overwhelmed with my responsibilities and escape, in the form of physically leaving, feels like the only option.

Don’t back yourself into this corner.

People often refer to “the bubble.” “Get off campus,” they say, “It’s too insular”. I am inclined to think this is a possible solution to your Macalester fatigue. You don’t need to physically leave to achieve this though. Escaping can be as simple as varying your routine. Take a different route to class, and notice the different faces you encounter. Seek out a different set of folks to spend time with, or relish in the time you have alone.

Space can be renewing. Giving yourself the space you need to complete your tasks on time and to take a break from the people who you feel grating on you (before you reach your wit’s end). Take the Green Line to the Mill District to wander, for example.

Seeing the same people and frequenting the same places can be comforting, but it can also be claustrophobic. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you need space until you find yourself (as you have) tired and desperate to leave. Make time for yourself and new experiences, and remember you only have four years, because, trust me, your time at college will be over before you know it.